Electric Tankless Water Heater Installation Requirements
|Electric Tankless Water Heater Installation Requirements
Electric Tankless Water Heater Installation Requirements And Step-By-Step How To Install It - The electric tankless water heater is one of the must-have devices in each home. It heats the water quickly when the water is passing over coils. Most people use this device because it is cheaper and can save up to 30%-50%. However, there are some considerations to know before we discuss the electric tankless water heater installation requirements. To help you make the best decision, we have a short explanation of how this tankless water heater works, the pros and cons.
How An Electric Tankless Water Hear WorksAs the water is passing over the electric coils, it will heat water directly, so we can say this works as demand-type. There is no need to store the water as the flow sensing device is activated when you push the hot water tap. This device heats the water using the gas burner or electric elements. Because there is no tank attached to the device, you don't need to worry about waiting for some heat or running out of water. When the hot water tap is closed, this unit sense will stop heating.
What Are The Pros Of Using A Water Heater?
- When we compare to the conventional water heater, this device is more convenient because it is smaller. It saves space it is mounted on the wall while its size is very attractive for modern home design. Of course, it suits any kind of home design for sure. The device is effective and will not eat the floor space.
- It is claimed saving more energy, which leads to cheaper bills. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, this device is claimed to save your electricity bill up to 50%.
- The device is pretty durable and safer that will likely not cause catastrophic flooding. Interestingly, this tankless unit can last around 20 years or more.
The Cons Of Using A Tankless Water Heater
- Unfortunately, the tankless water heater unit is pricey which costs around $500-$700. It doesn't include the installation. It costs over $1,700. However, certain things such as extending the pipe along with the adjustment of a safe vent to prevent carbon monoxide accumulated inside the home make you spend more money.
- You need some time to get hot water because it doesn't have a tank. So, it is contrary to the common belief that you will directly get the hot water from the tap. The electric coils are indeed heating the water, but you will not get it at the first drop, so you have to wait for some time.
- You have limited water flow. Typically the tankless water heater can flow 2-5 gallons each minute. If you are living with many people in your house, you need to pay attention to the GPM (Gallons Per Minute) before purchasing a product. The more people you are living with, the greater the GPM. To meet the demand, the only solution is to install several units inside the house. However, you will spend more money on the installation.
- Because this is a tankless water heater, a power outage will not be comfortable because you don't have a backup. Such an emergency will cause you a little bit of trouble as you are running out of warm water.
- Hard water can be very problematic for an electric heater, including the tankless model. You have to replace the filter often and drain it regularly. If you don't follow this maintenance, this will damage the unit which might last only around 2 years. Maintenance is a must so you will not void the warranty.
- The electric water heater system is pretty new and has more complicated system. If you examine the internal, you will see how potentially this device could go wrong that you might not be able to fix it by yourself.
- Besides, the electric tankless water heater needs an upgraded system. Certain types require 120 amps and the average home has a capacity of 200 amps. This means you need to upgrade your system if you need it and it costs around $1,500. At the early installation, the electric tankless water heater costs a lot compared to the traditional one.
But if you have a big house with many people living inside, you should be ready with certain things from the demand of the water, the activity in your house, your electricity, pipes and many more. In short, at the early time of installation, you need more preparation and a good plan.
Electric Tankless Water Heater Installation Requirements
Electrical RequirementsRemember that not all home is suitable for a tankless electric water heater. If your home has a small amp, and you don't want to upgrade it, then this is not suitable for you. Certain models even require 300 A, and if you have around 200 A, of course, you need an upgrade. If you want to know the size of your electricity, you can check it on the electrical breaker box or the electrical panel. Or, another option is asking your electrician assistant.
Water Pressure RequirementsMost of the tankless water heaters models can work between 30-150 psi. If you have water pressure above 150 psi, you need to install the pressure reducer.
PermitsNot all states are allowed to install their water heater due to safety reasons. This includes replacing your old water system. You need a plumbing inspector to check your installation to make sure it will be done properly.
The Place To Install The DeviceAfter that, you need to check the place to mount the device. It is suggested to place it near the water is being used. This will allow you to get the heated water faster as you open the tap. However, you also need to make sure you have access to the cold water.
The water heater should be installed vertically and the water supply connection and power are pointing down. Make sure you don't install it near the place where the freezing temperature often occurs and place that you will splash water near the device because it will damage it. Additionally, avoid all moisture and humid places.
Tools and Supplies To ProvideTo be successfully installing your electric tankless water heater, you have to provide the following tools and supplies:
- Flathead screwdriver
- Pipe cutter
- Drill ad drill bits
- Head screwdriver
- Tape measure
- Needle nose pliers
- Adjustable wrench
- Shut-off valves
- Anchors and mounting screws
- Teflon tape
- Temperature and pressure relief valve
- Piping (use 3/4" or 1/2")
- Pressure reducing valve
- Wire & ground
- Pipe insulation
- Recirculation pump and also cross-over valve
- Double pole circuit breakers
Step By Step How To Install The Electric Tankless Water HeaterDisclaimer: It is suggested to leave this job to a licensed professional. Besides, it also needs to comply with your plumbing, local, state and national codes.
Understand that this step-by-step installation is only for an example. The specific installation might vary and make sure you also read the manual thoroughly.
Improper installation will void the warranty and decrease its lifespan. Besides, this potentially can damage you whether it leads to injury or death. Therefore, if you are not familiar, then you need to hire a professional to help you install this device because this is a dangerous job and risky.
Here are the steps on how to install the device properly:
- The first step is turning off all of the circuit breakers and then turn off the main water supply.
- If there is any, disconnect and drain your old water heater.
- The next step is removing the screw at the front cover of the device you want to mount. Take the front cover. You probably need to remove one or more plugs.
- After you have removed the front cover safely, you can mount the water heater to the wall. Make sure you mount it vertically.
- The next is establishing the "cold" and "hot" tap. Use the flex pipe (3/4) and Teflon tape. Just in case the water heater comes with a filter screen (for the cold inlet), use the PEX tubing or copper. Make sure you clean the edges of the pipe by flushing it before connecting it with the water heater
- Once you have done, you can open several hot water outlets for several minutes while checking whether there is a leak. If there is no problem, you can close all the outlets.
If you are using the larger unit, you need two or more separate circuits and it can be the thicker ones. After that, you have to cut the wire and feed t at the bottom holes of the unit. Then, attach it to the appropriate slot (make sure you check the manuals of the product). Make sure you connect a ground conductor to the circuit breaker panel and grounding busbar.
- Make sure you don't mix the wire sets and adjust them neatly.
- If you have finished with the procedures, you can reattach the front cover.
- Next turn on its circuit breakers and you should see the water heater turning on. Now you can adjust your desired temperature.
- Next, open the hot water outlet and wait for several minutes to make it adjust the temperature and stabilize. Then, you can check the temperature if you need to.
- If you don't find any problem, then you have done the installation properly.
A small reminder that you should know if you open the kitchen faucet or another outlet and find the water is not warm, then it is because the water that has been sitting in the pipe is getting cold. This is why you need to wait for some time to get the water hot or warm. Or, you can simply use the circulation pump that will circulate the cooled-water back to the water heater. The advantage is you don't have to wait longer and you don't have to waste more water.
Use of a recirculation pump with the tankless water heater will waste your energy if you don't use some device that can control this matter. A smart control is a good idea. It contains button, timer, remote and motion sensor which can help you control the use of the recirculation pump and water heater. You can adjust when you want to use it altogether, for example in the morning. By doing this, you can have more control over your power spending while not wasting some water and still get warm water quickly.
That’s all our short explanation about electric tankless water heater installation requirements and how to install it. Remember that hiring a professional can save your time and also avoid you from damage. Most importantly, the electric tankless water heater is very new to the industry, you might not be too familiar with the system. If you do the wrong installation and it breaks the unit, you might void the warranty and also this can decrease its lifespan. Even when you can install the device, you still need to read the manual carefully to make sure you install the device safely.